Super Easy Homemade Lemon Marmalade Recipe – Without SUGAR

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Today, I will share with you our easy homemade lemon marmalade recipe, one of our favorite homemade marmalade. We haven’t bought marmalade or jam since February 2020 because we started making our own. Homemade is way better and healthier because we have full control over what ingredients to put and how much to use.

Our easy homemade lemon marmalade recipe is based on the recipe of Auntie Saniye, a great cook Youtuber from Turkey. I find her recipe the easiest to follow among so many videos that I watched.

But we made our own version of it by using our own raw honey, instead of sugar, and we don’t add water.

easy-homemade-lemon-marmalade

Super Easy Homemade Lemon Marmalade Recipe

Julai
This is a super easy homemade lemon marmalade recipe with only 2 ingredients: LEMONS and HONEY!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 kg lemons
  • 1 kg honey

Notes

1. Clean the lemons.
2. Peel the lemons. Cut the peels into thin slices (thickness and length depending on your preference). We cut our lemons approximately 1/2 to 1 cm thick and 3 cm long (1st and 2nd batch) and a mixture of small squares (because the husband was short on time in making the recent batch and was less concern about uniformity) because we prefer a chunky texture. Weigh and put in a separate bowl.
3. Gather the meat of the lemons and also cut them into pieces, and remove the seeds. Avoid including the white parts, they give off a bitter taste. Weigh and put in a separate bowl.
4. Calculate the amount of honey needed, based on the total weight of the lemon peels and meat. We use 1 kilogram of honey for every 2 kilograms of lemons. For 4 kg. of lemons, use 2 kg. of honey. This is a 66.66% lemons and 33.33% sugar percentage. and in reality, even a lower sugar percentage since honey contains water.
5. Boil the lemon peels. Boil enough water in a pot and then put the lemon peels and let them simmer for 3-4 minutes. Strain and repeat the process 2 more times, this is done to remove the bitter taste from the peels.
6. Put the honey in a huge pot and put it in low fire, to slowly liquefy the honey. Then the honey is already very liquid, pour the lemon peels and let it simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Then, add the lemon meat as well and cook together for another 20-30 minutes on medium fire. Keep stirring to avoid lemons sticking into the bottom of the pot.
7. The marmalade is finished when the consistency becomes sticky. But don’t overcook! Even if the consistency is not yet very sticky, it will be once cooled.
8. Transfer the marmalade to storing jars, put the lids on, and let them cool. If you only have 2-3 jars of lemon marmalade, you can just store them in the refrigerator. If you made a big batch, you have to water bath the jars for 15 minutes for safe storage.

Step-by-step Instructional Video From Auntie Saniye

Lessons Learned From Making Homemade Lemon Marmalade

  • Use organic lemons as much as possible since you will be using the peels. Non-organic ones are coated with wax. But if you can’t find organic lemons, make sure to clean and scrub the lemons thoroughly to remove the wax coating.
organic lemons from the backyard.
Organic lemons from our lemon tree.
  • Make sure not to skip the step of boiling the lemon peels to remove the bitter taste. Our 3rd (recent) batch of lemon marmalade was made by the husband in the garage to have access to a very huge pot and huge working area because we had about 20 kilos of lemon to turn into marmalade. He didn’t boil the peels because he forgot and didn’t know that I did it with our 1st and 2nd batch. We tried it in the evening and to our dismay, it was very bitter. 🙁 We tried it again in the morning and it had the same bitter taste and he announced: we have to throw them! And I said in a loud voice: NO WAYYY! We won’t be throwing 40 kilos of lemon marmalade to the drain! We tasted the marmalade after 3 days and the bitter taste was not that strong anymore and the bitter taste got less and less strong as days go by. Thank God! So, please don’t skip the boiling of lemon peels part.
  • Make sure to stir the mixture very often to avoid lemons sticking into the bottom of the pot. I was a bit distracted making our 2nd batch, so I didn’t stir as often as I should. The next time I came to stir the mixture, some lemons that were already burnt were sticking into the ladle.:( Thankfully, it was not that bad.
  • We tried putting the marmalade into storing jars while it’s still very hot. Covered the jars and put them upside down to seal because I read that it can be done instead of water bathing. But further readings confirmed that this practice which is called “inversion canning” is no longer recommended because it has been proven unsafe. You can read a very detailed post about it at Healthy Canning.

What’s The Difference Between Marmalade, Jam, and Jelly?

After making our 2nd batch of lemon marmalade, a thought suddenly came to mind. Why do we call it marmalade and not jam or jelly? So I made a bit of research to know the difference. And here’s a short explanation from masterclass.com:

Jam is made from whole or cut-up pieces of fruit with sugar, while jelly is made from only the fruit juice and sugar. Marmalade is preserves made with citrus—using the whole fruit, along with the rind.

Do You Need Pectin In Making Marmalade?

Pectin is a kind of starch and its main use is as a gelling agent, thickening agent, and stabilizer in food according to Wikipedia. Most jelly and jam recipes use pectin, but marmalade doesn’t need pectin because lemons and other citrus fruits are already high in pectin.

Why Make Your Own Marmalade, Jam, Or Jelly?

When I was still single in 2016, I started to eat healthier and read articles about healthy eating. I chanced upon an article on how to properly read food labels. It was very informative because it said that the ingredients on labels are written according to the percentage, highest to lowest.

Since then, I already have the habit of looking at food labels. And it’s shocking because there are a lot of store-bought things that the first one on the ingredients list is SUGAR! And this includes jams and marmalade. It means that the ingredient with the highest percentage is SUGAR compared to the other ingredients on the list.

If you take a look at a marmalade or jam label, some even say the percentage number. For example, 75% sugar, 25% strawberries. Imagine, you are eating more sugar than fruit and all along you think that you are eating a healthy jam or marmalade!

easy-homemade-lemon-marmalade
A jar of homemade lemon marmalade from our recent batch. We made a total of 40 kg. of lemon marmalade.

Making your own marmalade, jelly, or jam in the comfort of your home means that you can control the ingredients and the amount to use. You can definitely lower the sugar and increase the fruit for a healthier version.

Moreover, making homemade stuff is fun and very satisfying. It also helps in reducing plastic packaging and plastic waste at home. This is the main reason why I started to make homemade yogurt in 2018.

Final Thoughts

Try this super easy lemon homemade marmalade recipe in the comfort of your home for a healthier version of lemon marmalade.

But if you don’t have time, don’t worry, you can still buy a healthier version of your favorite marmalade or jam, just make sure to check the labels and buy the one that has a high fruit content than sugar.

Do you make your own marmalade or jam, too? If yes, what’s your favorite recipe? If not yet, would you like to try making one? Let me know in the comment section below.


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8 thoughts on “Super Easy Homemade Lemon Marmalade Recipe – Without SUGAR”

  1. It is so satisfying to make your own home made products, and even better if you can grow your own fruit and veggies that you can then convert. This lemon marmalade recipe which is made with honey, looks super easy, and also yummy. 

    Thanks for the tip on boiling the peels to get rid of the bitterness in the skin. I will certainly be trying this recipe when my lemon tree bears fruit in the summer. 

    Reply
    • I agree about the satisfaction the homemade products bring, exactly my reason for finding ways to make homemade versions of what we usually buy in the store.

      Let me know how it goes once you try the recipe, but it will be 100% delicious for sure!

      Reply
  2. Thanks for this awesome  article on Super Easy Homemade Lemon Marmalade Recipe – WITHOUT SUGAR, it was very informative and educational, now I know the difference between jam, jelly and marmalade! I think making your own Marmalade is a great idea if you care about your health, too much sugar is too bad for your health and having the option to reduce the amount of sugar you take in by learning to make your own marmalade with no sugar is a great deal! thank you again!

    Reply
    • Hello Nedia, I’m glad you find this post helpful. Indeed, too sugar is not good for our health. I got into a fat loss challenge recently and i didn’t sugar for 3 weeks and I lost 4.5 kilos! This is a proof that too much sugar is making us fat.:(

      Reply
  3. This is a great recipe.  I really had no idea that marmalade was so easily made.

    I sure am going to try this the next time lemons are on offer in the supermarket.  I wonder is it the same recipe for orange marmalade, or could I mix both oranges and lemons together?

    You certainly have made this an easy recipe to follow as you you have stepped out the process so clearly.  I thought it took much longer and was more complicated.

    I always knew there was a lot of sugar used, as my mother made a lot of jams and marmalades when I was small, but it is scary when you see it actually written down.  Only 25% fruit and the rest sugar.  No wonder it tastes so good!!

    Thanks for this and keep them coming!

    Reply
    • Hello Geoff, my husband said that this recipe can be used for orange marmalade,too. However, we haven’t tried yet. We are planning to try once we have enough oranges from our tree.

      I am not sure though about mixing lemon and orange. If you try it, let me know how it goes. But I think that there’s won’t be an issue since they are both citrus fruits.

      Indeed, 25% fruit and 75% sugar in a jam and marmalade is scary. But unfortunately, the more sugar the more delicious it is.:(

      Reply
  4. Wow. I am certainly going to try this out. I have not been buying jam in a long time because I was very concerned about the health aspect of it. I am shocked that this recipe has only two ingredients. I normally find it hard to follow recipes especially when they are written recipes but this one really looks doable and healthy. Thank you.

    Reply

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